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Taipei mayoral election becomes 3-way race as DPP names nominee

2018/05/30 20:49:42

Pasuya Yao (姚文智, front center)

Taipei, May 30 (CNA) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday nominated Pasuya Yao (姚文智) to run for Taipei mayor, making him the third prominent candidate in the election.

Yao will come up against the incumbent Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent who was elected in 2014 with the DPP's backing, and Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

A lawmaker who represented Taipei's Shilin and Datong districts, Yao was nominated at a regular DPP Central Executive Committee meeting that was chaired by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Tsai, who is also chairwoman of the DPP, said Yao presented the best "visionary plan" for the development of Taipei because he has been dedicated to constituency affairs for a long time and has an expansive understanding of the city, according to DPP spokesperson Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應).

The president also said Yao gained valuable administrative experience as head of the now-defunct Government Information Office and has served in various positions in the Kaohsiung City government, according to the DPP spokesperson.

At a press conference after his nomination, Yao said he was "100 percent confident" that he could win the Taipei mayoral election in November although he was trailing in the opinion polls.

A survey released May 22 by Taiwan Brain Trust showed Yao with 13.8 percent support in a possible three-way race against Ko (39.4 percent) and Ting (33.5 percent).

Another recent poll, conducted by Shih Hsin University, indicated a similar level of public support for Yao at 13. 5 percent, while Ko and Ting were neck and neck with 29 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively.

Among voters aged 20-29, Ko has a strong lead of 55.6 percent, while Ting and Yao are trailing with 18.2 percent and 0 percent, respectively, according to the university poll.

Asked to comment on the surveys, Yao said there was most likely a lack of understanding among most young people about his vision for the city and he vowed to put forward more proposals geared toward young voters.

Meanwhile, Ting said Yao's entry into the Taipei race has caused him "a bit of stress" but he still thinks Ko is his main competitor.

Ting also said Yao can now expect to see an increase in his support rate because the DPP has a support base of about 20-30 percent in Taipei.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Liu Chien-pang and Shih Hsiu-chuan)